Thursday, April 30, 2009

Services Sector Liberalisation - All Hype?

I've said my piece with regards to the "much welcomed" services sector ownership liberalisation announcement by the new Prime Minister last week. There was always the question of whether the announcement made, meant more in form, than in substance.

Well, within just a week, the new seemingly influential (lots of statements recently) Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI), Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has official confirmed that it's all just hot air, no more, no less. In a report by The Edge Financial Daily today, Mukhriz not only stated his intent to "defend and promote" the New Economic Policy, he said that the recent "liberalisation" measures announced by Najib was a move to "synchronise what was already happening in the service industry".
Before the prime minister announced the liberalisation of the service industry, meetings were held with bumiputera NGOs and trade organisations to ensure that they were ready to open up the markets...

From the feed back obtained, we realised that the markets
were already open. Only the policies at that time were not synchronised yet." (emphasis mine)
So it was all pretty much a public relations sham. These sectors were in reality already unimpeded by ownership restriction constraints. Hence what Najib announced will have very very little real impact on the industry, if any at all.
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